I’m wrapping up my nine-month internship at Kuder and packing up to head off to college next week. Here are 5 tips for new interns based on my personal experience.
When you walk in the door. When you pass someone in the hallway. And yes, even when they ask you to do the tasks you hate (and no that doesn't mean a smirk, but an actual smile). Doing this simple thing will help others see that you enjoy being at work and around them, and on your “off days,” it will help you believe it yourself.
TALK TO EVERYONE.
The receptionist on the way in. The mail carrier with the daily deliveries (who knew one company could get that much mail?!). Your boss. Your boss's boss.
Don't be afraid to put yourself out there and connect with all different levels of people within the company. This will help you stand out from everyone else and show that you are confident in yourself, and that they should believe in you and your work as well.
These simple connections you make can have a big impact down the road when you’re looking to network and apply for an actual job, because the better they know you, the better recommendation they can give for you.
GET YOUR WORK DONE EFFICIENTLY.
My teammates at Kuder are always amazed when I get the tasks they assign me done so quickly, even though it seems like average time for me. I wondered why this was until I realized that my generation is pretty lazy, and pretty good at procrastinating things we don't enjoy. So compared to others I did seem fast! However, there is a time and place for procrastinating and work is not one of them!
By getting through the rough and less-enjoyable tasks quickly, it can help you move on to better, more important projects. P.S., you will still get stuck with the less-enjoyable tasks even if you don't do well at them the first time (trust me).
OFFER TO HELP OTHERS.
This may seem like what your whole job is anyway – reporting to others and taking assignments from them. However, if you start being proactive by asking what you can help with and what tasks you can take on – instead of being told what to do – you will project an image of being eager and helpful.
This shows that you’re going above and beyond your expected tasks and enthusiastic about your work. While at first this may just be grunt work, it can help it turn into much more that much faster.
I asked about a million questions my first few weeks of work (actually I still do) and – newsflash – that's not a bad thing. Asking questions in meetings and about the company shows that you are engaged in what is going on and are genuinely interested enough to want to know and understand more about it.
There is, however, a difference between asking to learn and understand, and asking because you forgot. If it's the latter, I suggest you try to reread old emails to find the information before seeming absentminded.
This article first appeared in the Kuder Blog August 4, 2015
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